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3-0 Raiders face tough three game stretch on hardwood.

POSTED December 22, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Okay, so the easy part is in the books, now comes some heavy lifting.

The Torrington girls’ basketball team improved to 3-0 with an easy 66-28 win over Derby, led by 24 points from their star, Brie Pergola.

Over their first three games, Torrington got by Woodland, 41-31, demolished Career Magnet by a 63-23 final before disposing of the other Raiders of the Naugatuck Valley League.

Up next is nemesis Holy Cross in Waterbury on Wednesday night followed by a visit to Hillhouse for a quality out of conference match, up next Tuesday.

Their next home game won’t be until 2016 when they host Kennedy on Tuesday, January 5.

What do we know so far about this Raider team? Let’s look.

They have one of the NVL’s best players in Pergola who is starting to show some of what coaches call, ‘it’. The ability to know when they need to be the best player on the floor, take over and just make things happen.

In the case of Pergola, you have a player who will more often than not look to get her teammates involved or pass on a shot if she thinks they have a better one. We have seen signs that she recognizes when she needs to be a bit selfish and take the shots she knows she should take.

Finding and developing the other pieces of the puzzle is what head coach Mike Fritch has had to work on every day since the group got together less than a month ago.

This is a young unit in terms of both grade and experience, something that simply takes time as players get to know more about each other during game situations.

Only Caitlyn Cornish and Alexis Tyrrell have spent a considerable time on the floor with the varsity unit coming into the 2015-2016 campaign.

Three newcomers are having a nice impact over the first three games, led by a sophomore who has caught her coaches’ eye.

“You know who has come a long way,” Fritch said, “Is Shannon Reardon. She had played really well.”

In the Raiders opener against the Hawks, the team, aside from Pergola, seemed reluctant to take shots. In games two and three that mindset changed and the result takes pressure off the junior standout.

Let’s face it, it you are an opposing coach, who are you going to focus on?

On Wednesday, count on our friend Frank Lombardo to pressure Torrington from the moment they get off 84 and head towards the school.

Pressure is a staple of Crusader play and it’s hard to duplicate in practice.

It’s a long season but the real testing of this squad begins on Wednesday.

“We were very fortunate that we could work out some kinks,” Fritch said, “The schedule allowed for that but now we have three tough games.”

Game on.

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